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Russia Plans To Strengthen Ties With Islamic Countries

Lavrov said closer ties with Islamic countries could avoid international conflicts (file photo) (ITAR-TASS) 2 February 2006 -- Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov today said Russia intends to strengthen relations with Islamic countries.

Lavrov emphasized that closer ties could help resolve key international problems, such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the row over Iran's controversial nuclear program, as well as the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Lavrov made the comments at a reception for ambassadors from the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) member states in Moscow.

Malaysian ambassador Dato Mohamed Khalis, whose country holds the rotating chairmanship of the OIC, said Russia could help build a bridge between the West and the Islamic world.

The 57-nation organization agreed last year to invite Russia to attend future meetings as an observer.


Islam In A Pluralistic World

Islam In A Pluralistic World

A Muslim woman (left) watches a Christian procession in Madrid in March (AFP)


CONFERENCE ON ISLAM: A major international conference on Islam concluded in Vienna in November 2005 with strong appeals from prominent Muslim leaders to recognize international terrorism as simply "terrorism." Political figures from Islamic countries, including the presidents of Iraq and Afghanistan, argued that it should never be labeled "Islamic" or "Muslim" terrorism because Islam is based on peace, dialogue, and tolerance. "Salaam" -- meaning "peace" -- was the key word of the three-day conference, titled "ISLAM IN A PLURALISTIC WORLD."
Iraqi President Jalal Talibani and Afghan President Hamid Karzai used the word in their remarks to emphasize the peaceful nature of Islam. Other speakers quoted passages from the Koran to the effect that all men and women, regardless of faith, are creatures of God and should live in peace with each other without discrimination...(more)


Listen to Afghan President HAMID KARZAI's complete address to the Vienna conference (in English):
Real Audio Windows Media


Listen to UN special envoy LAKHDAR BRAHIMI's complete address to the Vienna conference (in English):
Real Audio Windows Media

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